It came as no surprise that the Los Angeles Rams were among the reported teams that had inquired about Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones this offseason.
After all, general manager Les Snead and head coach Sean McVay have never been shy about trading future picks in order to keep their championship window open. They made as much clear with their blockbuster deal for quarterback Matthew Stafford.
The prospect of bringing in a player of Jones’ caliber to a receiving corps that is already loaded with talent for Stafford was certainly an intriguing one. This meant rumors of their interest in making a deal with the Falcons was hardly far-fetched.
However, it seems this idea was short-lived. According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the Rams are no longer in the running for Jones:
At a time when the list of teams potentially interested in Falcons receiver Julio Jones is growing, there’s one team that, per a source with knowledge of the dynamics, can be removed from the list.
Even though L.A. was initially deemed a long shot to land Jones, their chances recently skyrocketed in the eyes of sports books after they were given the second-best odds. It appears their chances have now slipped away almost as quickly as they rose up.
The biggest question surrounding the Rams as potential suitors was whether or not they had the resources necessary to pull off a deal. While they did have a second-round pick to work with, the team had already had some salary cap issues to deal with this offseason.
Jones is currently on the books to earn a base salary of $15,300,000 while carrying a cap hit of $23,050,000 for the 2021 campaign. The onus would have once again fallen on Snead to clear up space by restructuring or cutting players.
The Rams being in the running may now be chalked up to Snead and McVay simply doing their due diligence on the situation with Jones. After all, his availability had not gone unnoticed by the likes of star cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
Even if L.A. is no longer a part of the Jones sweepstakes, they can take solace in the fact that they still boast one of the deepest receiving corps in the NFL. Aside from Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, new additions DeSean Jackson and Tutu Atwell will be tasked with bringing back a much-needed element of explosiveness to the offense.